It’s business as usual, with some exceptions for the Glenwood Police Department.
The Glenwood Police Department continues to remain fully operational and ready to respond 24/7 to any police matter at this point in the state’s response to the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The public is being limited when it comes to access to the Glenwood police department building, but there is a phone in the outside vestibule with direct contact with dispatch or officers, according to Police Chief Dale Danter.
“We are telling the public that all non-emergency calls will be handled by phone to reduce any unnecessary exposure,” he said last Thursday. He added that the department does have a limited supply of protective products and gear needed to respond if officers do need to have contact, and, “at this point we can do that.”
Danter said his department continues to respond to medical calls, but at this point his officers are staging outside and waiting for emergency medical personnel to arrive and then will help if necessary. “We’re trying to limit exposure on all calls, including traffic stops and I’m stressing that officers limit exposures beyond work and take precautions, because we’re a small department and we could get stressed if we have just a couple officers out sick.”
He said he is in daily contact with Greg Meyers, manager of Emergency Services for Glacial Ridge Health Systems, the Pope County Sheriff’s Office, the Glenwood Fire Department, the Starbuck Police Department, Horizon Public Health and of course, Glenwood city administration.
He said Glenwood’s crime situation has been very good over the past week since many public gatherings have been shutdown. He said the supply chain has also been good so far, especially in the smaller towns, like Glenwood. He said he is concerned about residents dealing with stressors like an interruption in supplies, not being able to go to work, kids at home for long periods of time and the public being unable to go to many places.
“From a mental health standpoint, that’s a lot of stress,” Danter said
County Sheriff’s Office, police
release information for public
The Pope County Sheriff’s Office along with the Glenwood and Starbuck Police Departments last Thursday released the following news release.
“The Pope County Sheriff’s Office, the Glenwood and Starbuck Police Departments are informing the public that our law enforcement agencies are actively working close with area partners in response to the COVID-19,” it was announced in a press release dated Thursday, March 19.
“We would like to inform the public that in response to the COVID-19 law enforcement agencies in Pope County, Minnesota have implemented the following protocols:
“All non-emergency calls for service will be handled over the phone to avoid face-to-face contact with citizens, and to comply with the social distancing guidelines and avoid the possibility of contaminating officers with COVID-19 virus or other medical illnesses.
“Our law enforcement agencies are also trying to limit the public from reporting non-emergency calls at our office locations. If you need to report any NON-EMERGECNY calls-for-service please contact Pope County Sheriff’s Office dispatch at 320-634-5411 or 320-239-2311.
“Examples of Non-Emergency Calls-for-Service: Any calls that are not an immediate risk to public safety; such as civil issue calls, tenant and landlord issues, verbal or social media harassment complaints, thefts, vehicle break-ins, animal complaints, parking complaints, scam calls, any general law enforcement questions or concerns, suspicious activity, etc.”
Law enforcement will respond to all emergency calls-for-service and calls that pose a risk or immediate threat to the public safety.
As far as patrols and other law enforcement, duties will continue as usual, and all officers have been advised of safety precautions regarding COVID-19. Any officer who starts having symptoms of the COVID-19 virus or those who have been exposed to a person who has tested positive for COVID-19 will notify their supervisor to follow agency protocol for these types of incidents.
Overall, law enforcement’s primary goal is to keep the public, as well as law enforcement officers, safe during this global pandemic.